Once again, in my continuing (but losing) battle against adipose, I jumped out of my car about a mile and a half from work. I heard my ur mother's voice in the back of my head: "George, but you're not wearing snow boots." But I had to walk.
Traffic, always horrible going across town in mid-town, was 1/3 worse than usual. And every cross street that wasn't blocked by a garbage truck was either being cleared of snow by a battery of small bulldozers or was blocked by an emergency vehicle speeding to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts.
Feeling like a cross between Charlie Brown and Ernest Shackleton, I made my way steadily west. I leaped over three foot piles and forded seemingly impassable slush puddles, all while avoiding the spray of cars streaming up or down-town. I braved the cold and the wat'ry wake of a thousand speeding buses and made it to my desk after a hardy half hour, hardly worse for wear.
I got in, I'll admit, later than usual. But I needed the time to walk and think and maybe listen to some Puccini or Segovia before my day begins. I needed to have an empty head, I needed to expel the frustrations and doubts and fears and even the anger that seem to accumulate in the course of a normal day.
Work is not easy.
Neither is growing older.
I joke that I am the 11th-oldest copywriter still working. It's funny because I'm probably the third oldest.
It has it's travails.
But I learned something years ago at my best-friend's dad's memorial service.
When someone asked him how work was going, he would answer, "Still learning. Still loving. Still laughing."
Not a bad way to go through life.
Not a bad thing to shoot for.